Dust off your cowboy boots and two-step to Colorado Springs for the Ride for the Brand Ranch Rodeo. Held at the Norris-Penrose Event Center, this western event draws wranglers and the folks who love them. The Ride for the Brand Ranch Rodeo has been a Colorado Springs institution since 2003 when it was founded to not only celebrate cowboys, but also to raise money for the Working Ranch Cowboys Association, which offers financial assistance to ranchers struggling with health issues, natural disaster damage, and other hardships.
If you’re trekking across the west during the summer in an RV, swing through for this cherished local celebration. The rodeo itself features classic events, including bronco riding, trailer loading, and ranch branding, but the festivities extend far outside of the Norris-Penrose Event Center.
Grab a prime spot in Downtown Colorado Springs and watch an authentic longhorn cattle drive. Kick up your boots after the rodeo for the Dance in the Dirt party, set to live country music. While you’re in Colorado Springs, you can hike among the sandstone rocks at Garden of the Gods, or head north to Rocky Mountain National Park. For RV campers who love the wilderness, Colorado Springs and the surrounding area is a dream come true.
Expect tickets for Ride for the Brand Ranch Rodeo to go on sale around June. Tickets can be purchased online prior to the rodeo, or in person at the Norris-Penrose Event Center office. Tickets range from $10 to $20 for general admission, $40 to 50 for reserved box seats, or $50 to 75 for VIP. Pre-sale discounts, as well as discounts for children and military members, are available.
The Norris-Penrose Event Center is located in the heart of Colorado Springs near Bear Creek Regional Park East just off of US Route 24 and I-25 about 72 miles south of Denver. Colorado Springs is a small city and is relatively easy to navigate in an RV, even with event-related traffic and road closures. Be aware of mountain passes and roads with length restrictions, especially if you will come from the west.
The Norris-Penrose Event Center offers more than 20 acres of parking on-site. Bring cash for parking (approximately $5). While the rodeo is not an RV-focused event, the venue does periodically offer 12x12 RV stalls for overnight rental if you call and make prior arrangements. As the venue is located about three miles from the center of Colorado Springs, it also may be possible to park nearby and walk to the rodeo.
The City of Colorado Springs offers public bus service. You can also use local cabs and rideshare apps to get to the Ride for the Brand Ranch Rodeo. Rodeo organizers do not offer an official shuttle, but it may be helpful to check with your RV campground to see about unofficial options and seasonal advice on the best way to get to the stadium.
RV campers can contact the Norris-Penrose Event Center directly by phone to inquire about RV storage and camping options near the stadium. If available, these are priced at $20 to 50 and include hookups and a dump station. This is typically used for overnight horse boarding and may not be available to the public during the rodeo.
RV camping options in Colorado Springs and beyond abound. For a local option, reserve a site at Colorado Springs KOA Holiday in Fountain, Colorado. The campground is 12 miles from the Norris-Penrose Event Center. On the outskirts of Colorado Springs, you’ll find both established RV campgrounds and dry camping with majestic mountain views, hot springs access, and wildlife viewing opportunities. Mueller State Park rests west of Pikes Peak and just under 30 miles from the rodeo grounds in Divide, Colorado.
Ride for the Brand Ranch Rodeo is held in an open-air 51,000 square-foot arena with both covered and uncovered seating. Both the rodeo and the dance are held at the Norris-Penrose Event Center, but other events, including the longhorn cattle drive, take place off-site and may require you to drive rather than walk. There is an ADA platform at the rodeo.
A day at the rodeo means denim and cowboy boots, of course. Pack your finest western gear, and expect warm weather and sunshine. The climate in Colorado Springs is typically dry in the summer, with temperatures in the low 80s during the day and high 50s at night. If attending evening events, pack a jacket. You may also want to pack hiking clothes for the nearby trails.
Pack all of the usual RV camping gear for nights around the fire at your Colorado Springs campground of choice, including cookware, camping chairs, and extra blankets for the cool nighttime temperatures. Have cash for event parking as well as for vendors and concessions. Outside food and beverages and items that are distracting or dangerous may not be allowed inside the stadium.
Summer in Colorado Springs means sunshine (the area sees 243 days of sun annually), so pack sunscreen. Have a reusable water bottle and plenty of water to stay hydrated in the dry, mountainous environment. Remember to pack toiletries for the campground, as well as over the counter medications and prescriptions.
Cooking options vary by campsite. Colorado Springs is in bear country, so outdoor cooking may be limited, and bear storage will likely be strictly enforced. Colorado Springs offers grocery stores, camping stores, and convenience stores for any groceries, fuel, or other items you may need during your time at the rodeo.
In Colorado, the cuisine is hearty and locally-sourced. Look for restaurants serving Colorado-raised lamb and beef, local craft beer, and farm-to-table vegetables grown on nearby farms. Whether you crave tacos, burgers, pizza, or fine dining, you’ll find it in Colorado Springs. Choose your favorite from a variety of options in the historic downtown area approximately 2.5 miles from the Ride for the Brand Ranch Rodeo grounds.
Vendors vary from year-to-year, but you can expect no-frills rodeo snacks and drinks meant to tide over your appetite while cheering on your favorite cowboys and cowgirls. Head to the concession stand to see what’s available. Bring cash as all vendors may not accept credit cards. Additional food and beverage options may be available for those with VIP tickets.
This event attracts more than 3,500 people. As such, security will be in place to screen bags upon entry. There will also be a local police presence at events outside of the arena, including the longhorn cattle drive. Always lock your RV or vehicle and do not leave any bags unattended at the Ride for the Brand Ranch Rodeo.
The weather in Colorado Springs is at its hottest by midsummer. As this is an outdoor event, plan on warm days with temperatures in the low 80s and noticeably cooler nights with temperatures in the high 50s. Summer thunderstorms are possible, especially in the afternoon. Have a rain jacket on hand or head to the covered concourse at the stadium in the event of a downpour.
Rodeo fans will find a first-aid room at the stadium at the Norris-Penrose Event Center. You will also find several hospitals in Colorado Springs, including one located approximately eight miles from the rodeo grounds. Colorado Springs has pharmacies, convenience stores, and natural health stores for all of your other health and wellness needs.